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Pump Price Of Fuel May Soon Go Up

FUEL INCREASE

The pump price of fuel may soon go  up from N65 per litre to N195 per litre, as part of moves by the Federal Government to remove oil subsidy.

But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) warned, on Friday, that it would ground all the sectors of the Nigerian economy if the government implemented the over 200 per cent proposed hike.

Also irked by what it described as the slow implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage by state governments, labour will, on Thursday, stage a mass protest in Abuja.

 

NLC President Comrade Addulwahed Omar who spoke on the planned hike, said it was provocative  to contemplate such policy in the midst of poverty, mass unemployment and insecurity in the country.

In a statement entitled: “Increase of fuel prices by over 200 per cent,’ Comrade Omar said: “It may sound outlandish but despite the serious challenges we are facing in the country from grounding poverty and mass unemployment to serious security, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan is being goaded into increasing petrol price by over 200 per cent.

“In the midst of mass suffering despite our huge natural resources and income, it is provocative for the government to want to further increase the price of petrol. In fact, this will tantamount to cruel injustice against the Nigerian people.

“The primary motive of this planned price increase is the insatiable greed of some politicians to get more money to squander; they see an increase in fuel prices as an easy way to access more of the country’s wealth.

“There is also the calculation to render the new national minimum wage worthless by embarking on a hyper inflation-inducing project like the astronomical increase in prices of petroleum products.”

He added that the government’s  stereotype argument of the need to remove “subsidy” was the same trick played on the people by the General Ibrahim Babangida  regime in the 80s under the  Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

He said: “Apart from hyper inflation, the planned fuel price increase will further impoverish the Nigerian masses, force more factories to close down and engender mass unemployment”.

Omar said Nigerians had learnt from the so-called deregulation of kerosene and diesel noting that the deregulation of petrol would only lead to higher prices, non-availability of the commodity and its control by a cabal.

He said NLC, would resist any increase and called on all progressive organizations including the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and professional associations to join hands with labour  to defend the  interest of the  people.

Omar also raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the government to sack workers  in the name of reorganising and merging federal parastatals and agencies.

He said: “As we stated before, the labour movement will kick-start its campaigns to defend the Nigerian people by staging a rally and street procession in Abuja next Thursday 22nd  September 2011.”

He said the non-violent mass action tagged “Save the Nation Rally” would protest, among other issues, “government attempts to increase fuel prices, the privatization scam, the electricity tariff gambit, the slow implementation of the minimum wage by state governments and private employers and the plan by the Federal Government to carry out mass sack of workers in the name of reorganizing and merging Federal agencies”.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency General Manager in charge of the media, Mr Wole Adamolekun was not available for comment on the alleged price hike.

However, a source in the regulatory agency told our correspondent that PPRA was not aware of any proposed pump price hike as at Thursday.

“I don’t know where you got your story from, the federal government has not issued any directive on that as of yesterday(Thursday) the price remained as it is” the source stated.






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